Editorial: Competitive economy

POSTED: 01/5/15 2:42 PM

A productive, competitive and robust economy. That is what Up-leader Heyliger envisions for the coming year. Unfortunately, the Gumbs-cabinet has made clear that it will implement the controversial counterpart policy. That will get in the way of that competitive economy big time.

St. Maarten cannot have its cake and eat it, yet this seems to be what the Gumbs cabinet has in mind. The Social Economic Council published already in 2013 an advice that makes clear that counterparts are detrimental to the country’s economy for one simple reason. “The labor supply is strongly dependent on immigration.”

Placing local counterparts next to foreign employees saddles companies with unreasonably higher costs – they will have to pay two people doing the same job for a maximum of three years. How this will lead to Heyliger’s productive, competitive and robust economy is a mystery.

It would behoove the cabinet to reconsider this disastrous attempt at protection of locals in the job market. If companies flourish, those job opportunities will materialize automatically. If they are floundering due to excessive labor expenditures, companies could very well decide to take their business elsewhere – or perish altogether.

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